Structural and functional insights into non-structural proteins of coronaviruses

Rohaim, M.A. and El Naggar, R.F. and Clayton, E. and Munir, M. (2021) Structural and functional insights into non-structural proteins of coronaviruses. Microbial pathogenesis, 150. ISSN 0882-4010

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Coronaviruses (CoVs) are causing a number of human and animal diseases because of their zoonotic nature such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These viruses can infect respiratory, gastrointestinal, hepatic and central nervous systems of human, livestock, birds, bat, mouse, and many wild animals. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a newly emerging respiratory virus and is causing CoVID-19 with high morbidity and considerable mortality. All CoVs belong to the order Nidovirales, family Coronaviridae, are enveloped positive-sense RNA viruses, characterised by club-like spikes on their surfaces and large RNA genome with a distinctive replication strategy. Coronavirus have the largest RNA genomes (~26–32 kilobases) and their expansion was likely enabled by acquiring enzyme functions that counter the commonly high error frequency of viral RNA polymerases. Non-structural proteins (nsp) 7–16 are cleaved from two large replicase polyproteins and guide the replication and processing of coronavirus RNA. Coronavirus replicase has more or less universal activities, such as RNA polymerase (nsp 12) and helicase (nsp 13), as well as a variety of unusual or even special mRNA capping (nsp 14, nsp 16) and fidelity regulation (nsp 14) domains. Besides that, several smaller subunits (nsp 7– nsp 10) serve as essential cofactors for these enzymes and contribute to the emerging “nsp interactome.” In spite of the significant progress in studying coronaviruses structural and functional properties, there is an urgent need to understand the coronaviruses evolutionary success that will be helpful to develop enhanced control strategies. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the structure, function, and interactions of coronaviruses RNA synthesizing machinery and their replication strategies. © 2020

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Microbial pathogenesis
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Microbial Pathogenesis. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Microbial Pathogenesis, 150, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.micpath.2020.104641
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14 Jan 2021 16:30
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 02:32